Exploring the Links between Post-Industrial Landscape History and Ecology through Participatory Methods

We’ve just had a paper published in PLOS ONE about some work we (two MSc by research students Kevin Rich and Mike Ridealgh, Mike Ashmore, Steve Cinderby and myself) did way back in 2011 on two brownfield sites near Wakefield. This was a really interesting piece of work, because we were using a mixture of participatory mapping approaches, citizen science surveys and our own surveys to uncover how the history of these sites has influenced the ecology that can be seen on site today. If you’d like to read the paper, it can be found here http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136522

Scrub grassland at Upton Country Park. Kevin Rich

Scrub grassland matrix at Upton Country Park. Photograph by Kevin Rich (2011)

Through these approaches, we were able to capture information about the sites that would not have been possible otherwise, and to me, this work really highlights two things: the value of doing so-called ‘mixed-methods’ research, and the value of working in a participatory way. If you read the paper, you’ll see that these approaches allowed us to gather rich and detailed information about these two sites. So, huge thanks are due to everyone who took part.

In the paper, we explain the methods that we used for recruiting participants, the methods we used for our mapping and our citizen science surveys, in the hope that other researchers will use these methods in their own work. But if you have any questions that you’d like answering, please comment below, on the paper itself, or drop me an email.

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